Microsoft has acquired game publisher Activision Blizzard in a $69 billion all-cash deal, indicating that the software giant is fully committed to becoming a significant player in the metaverse space.
Largest Deal In Gaming
The tech giant announced the acquisition on Tuesday. Activision Blizzard is the parent company of the highly popular video game “Call of Duty” and the deal is being touted as the biggest in gaming industry history. The deal is also the biggest acquisition made by Microsoft and is a powerful move in cementing its position in the metaverse. The videogame market has already been dominated by industry leaders like Tencent and Sony. However, the latest move from Microsoft is expected to shake things up in the virtual world of gaming.
Commenting on the acquisition, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said,
"Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms."
Microsoft Enters Virtual Gaming Race
Microsoft is already a significant player in the gaming industry thanks to the Xbox gaming console. The Activision acquisition will catapult its position higher up the ladder, into the third position of the most influential gaming companies of the world. Activision’s 390 million monthly users and huge gaming franchises of Call of Duty and Warcraft will give an edge to Microsoft in the competitive battle with Sony’s PlayStation and Meta’s VR platform, Oculus.
According to equity analyst and portfolio manager at Aptus Capital Advisors, David Wagner,
"This is a significant deal for the consumer side of the business and more importantly, Microsoft acquiring Activision really starts the metaverse arms race."
Microsoft’s Metaverse Plans
The metaverse is a virtual space that has developed with the expansion of different blockchain networks and NFTs. The technology behind it allows users to interact with virtual elements in this virtual space. Ever since Facebook rebranded itself to Meta, the interest in metaverse has skyrocketed, as several leading brands and conglomerates are taking steps to ensure they do not get left behind in this race.
Microsoft had been preparing to expand its metaverse presence since the end of last year. In November 2021, the tech firm announced its intentions at the Microsoft Ignite conference. Furthermore, the company had also announced that it would be updating its Xbox gaming console services to provide an elevated metaverse experience. The recent acquisition could be a part of its initiative to add more firepower to its gaming arsenal.